Area 8: Frome and Surrounding Area Proposal

Somerset Library Services Consultation 2018

Summary Proposal

Tell us your views on how we are proposing to deliver future library services in Frome and Surrounding Area 8 – Frome library.

The map below shows the existing library building (green pin) in Frome and the existing mobile library stops (green dots) – 7 stops in this area per month.

© Mapbox
© Open street map contributors

  • This includes the north eastern part of Mendip Council area, from the Wiltshire and Bath and North-East Somerset border in the north and east, across to Coleford and Batcombe in the west.
  • The area has a population of 40,733, most of whom live in the major town of Frome (pop. 26,203). The only other sizable community is Coleford (pop. 2,151). Many of the rural areas to the south and north of the area are sparsely populated.
  • Frome library catchment extends across the whole area and beyond. There are no other Library buildings in this area. Frome and the surrounding villages, as well the area around Coleford, are close to other towns and villages outside of Frome Somerset, and many people living the area travel regularly to Trowbridge, Warminster, Bath, and Midsomer Norton and Radstock.
  • Frome is well served by commercial bus services, linking villages along the major routes to Frome town centre. Frome also has a limited town bus service. The whole area is served by Community Transport, centred mainly on Frome (although some communities in the west of the area are linked to Shepton and Wells).
  • Relatively good road links mean that driving times into Frome from rural areas are convenient for those with vehicle access. Most of the area is 10 to 15 minutes’ drive from Frome; areas around the southern and western boundaries are up to 20 minutes’ drive from Frome and slightly closer to Shepton Mallet or Wells. Much of the population of Frome live within walking or cycling distance of the town centre.
  • Frome and the north-eastern part of the area are a relatively long way from other major towns in Somerset – Shepton and Wells are 25-30 minutes by car from the communities of Rode and Norton St. Philip in the far north-east of the county.
  • Some of the rural districts to the east of Frome are relatively wealthy, as are some parts of Frome; Frome also has some relatively deprived neighbourhoods (1 neighbourhood in the 20% most deprived nationally). Across the area as a whole deprivation, income and employment levels are in line with the average for Somerset.
  • The percentage of under 5s reaching the expected level school readiness is slightly lower than the Somerset average across the area as a whole, and around 15 to 20 percentage points lower in parts of Frome and some of the rural districts in the west of the area. Income and employment levels, health and educational attainment are also very low in the most deprived parts of Frome.
  • Social isolation and digital exclusion vary across the area, and tend to align with areas of deprivation. Again, parts of Frome have the highest levels of social isolation and digital exclusion, with a noteable pocket of digital exclusion in and around Coleford.
MetricFrome Library
Catchment population48,391
Opening Hours per week44
Active borrowers*7,158
Annual footfall188,279

*For definition of an active borrower, please see frequently asked questions

Further Detailed Information
Further evidence of need (including deprivation and usage), access to alternative libraries and value for money, which we have used to develop our proposals can be found here. The detailed impact assessments can also be found here.  We are seeking your views on all of this information, and would encourage you to look at this further detail.


Our 9 area proposals demonstrate the aim to keep as many library buildings as possible open across Somerset. Some of our proposals highlight, however, that for a number of libraries we may require community support to help us achieve this. We stress that library services will continue across Somerset, whatever the outcome of this consultation.

We are proposing a limited change to current library services in this area. The change proposed will provide additional outreach library services in communities that need them the most.

Please now consider the following proposal and complete the questionnaire, basing your answers on the library you visit most often.

Frome LibraryProposals
Option ANo change to existing library services provided in Frome town centre.

We propose to provide additional Library Outreach Services (events and activities for children, and technology activities for adults) in the Trinity and The Mount areas of Frome, where these are needed most. We will work with other partners, including our Family Support service, to do this.

You can download the proposals for all of the areas here.